The most common aerobics moves include side steps, forward steps and back steps, leg and knee lifts, and arm raises, among others. It is somewhat rare to find an aerobics class that only performs simple aerobics moves; typically, instructors will try to make a class be more challenging or interesting by integrating other moves from different practices into the class. For example, dance aerobics or kickboxing aerobics are two very popular classes that change up the traditional aerobics routine.
Nearly all aerobics classes will follow a similar pattern of warm-up, intense exercise to get the heart into the target heart rate zone, and cool down. The aerobics moves during the warm-up period are gentler, and are designed to gradually loosen the muscles and get the blood flowing throughout the body. Stretches, jumping jacks, or slow jogging in place may all be used as a warm-up. Cool downs are similar, and typically feature more stretching, such as toe touches and arm raises. It is best to stretch the muscles when they are warmed up from exercise rather than when they are cold, and stretching is a great way to slow the heart rate and cool down.
Depending on the length of the aerobics class, the period of intense exercise can vary. Usually, it lasts for approximately 20 to 25 minutes and is made up of a number of different aerobics moves. The only equipment needed to complete most aerobics moves is a non-slip mat, which may or may not be necessary, as well as an aerobics step. This is a low, lightweight step that one can step on and off of during the workout to make it more challenging. In a basic aerobics class, stepping is by far the most common move.
There are many different variations of stepping; these may include sidestepping and twisting, similar to a "grapevine" dance. Stepping back and forth off the aerobics step is another one. In addition, knee raises, side leg lifts, and rear leg lifts that tone the muscles on the back of the legs are all very common as well. Kicks and punches are often incorporated into kickboxing aerobics classes, or more complicated moves might be used in dance aerobics classes. Aerobics moves in most classes are designed to be fairly simple for the participants to follow; what matters is that the body is kept moving, and that the heart rate increases into the target zone.